Though it has taken me quite awhile to get through “Consumed,” it has proved a fascinating read. Barber analyzes the evolution of consumer capitalism and how individuals become consumers first rather than citizens. What I like about Barber’s argument is that even though he makes some big claims about the adverse effects consumption and markets have on citizens, he is no conspiracy theorist. He discusses the production of need necessary for markets to grow, how shopping has become a type of labor, and the “branding” of identities, but isn’t apocalyptic about these phenomena. Overall, this book has given me plenty to think about, especially as those economic stimulus checks start arriving.